TikTok has been on a fast upward trajectory as usage has skyrocketed amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the following quarantine guidelines it’s caused across the globe.
The TikTok app started the year off strong by holding the title of most downloaded app in the world in January and continued its growth as the year has carried on. According to Wallaroo Media’s data, in Q1 of 2020, TikTok saw a 15 percent increase in downloads — a total of 315 million downloads during the three month period. The average time spent on the app has climbed to 52 minutes per day.
Customer and influencer-created content has become a staple in brand marketing strategies in recent years, and TikTok is quickly becoming another essential channel to encourage your fans to create authentic content around your brand.
Here are a few tips to help you start developing your brand’s approach to TikTok:
1. Define Your Brand Growth Strategy for TikTok
Defining your audience, brand strategy and goals on TikTok are the first steps to a successful existence on the app. With users spending nearly an hour a day engaging with the app, your brand will have a big opportunity to reach their audiences — just make sure their audience aligns with your brand and the people you’re looking to reach. Most users on the TikTok platform are 13 to 30 years old. If this is the audience you’re after, you need a presence there.
For many brands, when you first start to outline what your TikTok growth strategy should be, you’ll need to decide what your paid versus your organic approach will look like. Authentic, unfiltered and organic (unpaid) content is seen as the best performing content on the platform. So while polishing the content you share on your page is not necessary, you may still choose to kick-off your TikTok presence with a sponsored campaign to drive initial awareness.
This is exactly what Crocs did with their #ThousandDollarCrocs challenge, where the brand asked everyone to show them their customized “$1,000 Crocs” — a lyric from a Post Malone song — which gained over three billion views and nearly 200k followers to their page. Either way you choose to do it, deciding if your brand voice on the platform is going to be playful, serious, branded or unfiltered, it’s good to outline your strategies from the launch of your page.
2. Tap Into Your Creator Community
Whether you have leveraged your creator community in the past or not, now is the time to focus on the important role your current fanbase and creators can play in your TikTok success. By encouraging and highlighting the content your community creates, you can gain a much farther reach than promoting your own content. There are many types of creators you can leverage depending on your brand.
If you have very engaged employees, like Chipotle, you can use their TikTok videos to kick-off a viral trend like the #ChipotleLidFlip, which started off with employee creators flipping the lids onto burrito bowls before closing them. These creative TikTok videos inspired a huge following of users to attempt the Lid Flip Challenge, giving Chipotle an enormous amount of user-generated content to leverage across their own TikTok channel.
@chipotle##lidflip♬ original sound – chipotle
Influencers, celebrities and ambassadors are other forms of creators that many brands tap into for brand awareness, reach and unique content. In the case of the Olympics, they’ve used their TikTok channel to highlight stories of athletes continuing to train hard while having fun, given the postponement of the upcoming summer Olympics.
@olympicchannelTwinning is winning ♀️ ( Olympian twins @biaebrancaferes ##staystrong at home) ##tiktokdance ##artisticswimming ##synchroswimming)♬ TikTok All Star – BCD Studio
Nike has also utilized content from real athletes and fitness influencers across their channel to demonstrate how people are keeping in shape and having fun with different challenges at home.
@nikeMagic skills and ##MagicBoots ♬ “WOAH!” – Cashino
Keeping with the theme of sharing what professionals have been up to during shelter in place, many music labels, like Sony Music, have taken to highlighting how their musicians are expressing themselves and staying creative while at home.
3. Cultivate a Community of Advocates
There is no better and more relevant place to tap into your organic brand advocates than across social media. TikTok has become a whole new avenue for extending your reach to these individuals and getting them engaged and actively participating with your brand. At Stackla, we’ve been emphasizing the importance of Organic Influencers for a while now. With the rise of TikTok engagement, you should be leveraging these daily content creators more than ever to help tell your brand’s story.
You can request they participate in your own trend or sponsored challenge to help give people direction on the type of content your brand would like to see created.
Guess Jeans launched a sponsored hashtag challenge called #InMyDenim where they requested that everyday customers share their denim looks. The challenge involved users creating videos that showed their transformation from “mess to best-dressed”. The 6-day campaign had over 5,550 user-generated videos and 10.5 million video views.
@kuhleeuhHad a fun day ##inmydenim ✨ ✨ @guess ##style ##OOTD♬ original sound – kuhleeuh
ELF Cosmetics has also been featuring authentic user-generated videos on their official page, but took their TikTok game to the next level by commissioning a song called “Eyes Lips Face”, named after their acronym. They started a hashtag #EyesLipsFace and have generated hundreds of authentic videos from customers and TikTok users.
@jordanlipscombemy first tiktok pals aka welcoming my catfish ass into this scene ##idkwhatimdoing ##makeup ##catfish ##foryoupage ##eyeslipsface♬ Eyes. Lips. Face. (e.l.f.) – iLL Wayno & Holla FyeSixWun
Creating enough bite-sized vertical videos each day to post from your brand’s official page on TikTok is a tall order. So tapping into the massive amounts of authentic content being shared by your customers and followers can be your best TikTok growth strategy to help you stay relevant and fresh.
4. Continually Optimize Your Content
Like every other marketing channel, you need to define your goals and continually optimize. If your goal is to drive brand awareness you’ll want to keep an eye on your number of video views and assess what types of content are getting the most looks from audiences. Similarly, if you’re hoping for engagement, you should be tracking which videos are receiving the most likes and clicks — particularly if you are running ads.
If your ultimate goal is conversions, it’s important to define your budget and targets ahead of time, continually testing which types of content are resonating with your TikTok audience. What gets a response from TikTok audiences may be very different from the content you’re used to seeing perform well on Instagram or in Snapchat stories. So being agile with your TikTok growth strategy when you’re starting out and continuously optimizing it will be crucial to your success on the platform.
5. Leverage TikTok Content Across Marketing Channels
With Tiktok on the rise and all signs pointing to it outlasting the COVID lockdowns, it will continue to be an important part of a brand’s distribution strategy. Because of this, Stackla has expanded our Create Tile functionality to support individual videos from TikTok. You can curate these videos within Stackla via Create Tile, which brings in the TikTok video along with the likes, comments and other relevant video information.
You can also add TikTok videos directly to your stack via Stackla’s Browser Extension. While browsing via Google Chrome, Microsoft Edra or Opera, you can simply find the video you want to select and quickly add it to your stack the same way you can with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube videos.
Sharing the content created by your fans helps you inspire others to share similar content, fueling the cycle of content creation that can ultimately be at your brand’s disposal. Once you have a centralized place to store all of this content like Stackla’s Asset Manager, you can manage thousands of pieces of content and distribute across various marketing channels – from ads to emails and even commercials.